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Travel

Spain holiday warning: Canary Islands demands tourists take coronavirus test before entry

The Canary Islands are a very popular holiday destination with Britons and tourists around the world. Usually, the islands are inundated with tourists each summer hoping to soak up some sun and sand. However, now the islands are insisting that foreign tourists – including Britons – have to take a COVID-19 test before they travel to the islands.

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The local government said the measure will be expensive.

However, the government has indicated that hoteliers and airlines might be willing to team up with the public sector to help pay the bill.

Vice-president of the Government of the Canary Islands and Minister of the Treasury, Román Rodríguez said people need to fly with the least possible risk.

He said: “We need people who get on the plane to do so with the least possible risk of infecting others or becoming infected.”

The Canary Islands emerged relatively unscathed from the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the globe.

The Canaries have only recorded 160 deaths since the crisis began.

Tourism chiefs have said that because of the country’s low death and case rates, they want the islands treated like a “world safety lab”.

They are also hoping that the Canaries will be one of the first regions open to tourists if Spain decides to opt for a phased basis.

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Mr Rodriguez said in a video call with the Spanish government that there needs to be measures in place for “air health security”.

He added that economic activity in the Canary Islands is highly dependent on air traffic and “we need that mobility to be safe.”

Mr Rodriguez also said that carrying out the tests was essential as using masks would not be enough.

He also said that removing middle seats on planes and social distancing is not possible economically.

The vice president considered that tests at source are technically possible and, although they are expensive right now, the private sector – hoteliers and airlines – would be interested in seeking coordination mechanisms with the public sector to make them possible.

He added: “If we reduce the risk of contagion, we will quickly regain people’s trust, which is the key to activating air mobility.”

So far, hoteliers have backed the move who have pointed out that 35 percent of the GDP in the Canaries is linked to tourism, as well as 70,000 jobs in hotels and apartments.

Because the Canary Islands are predominantly a tourist destination, Mr Rodriquez has asked the European Union to treat the Canaries differently when it comes to the distribution of resources.

Tenerife received the most visitors out of all the Canaries last year with almost six million visitors.

Gran Canaria came in second with 4.3 million holidaymakers last year.

The travel and tourism GDP amounted to 16 billion euros in the region in 2018.

The Canaries are just off the northwest coast of Africa, meaning that they are perfect for winter breaks.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot

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Travel

EasyJet to cut up to 30% of its staff

The UK’s biggest budget airline is to follow British Airways in cutting up to 30 per cent of its workforce.

As many as 4,500 of easyJet‘s estimated 15,000 staff could lose their jobs.

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As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, easyJet says it does not expect passenger demand to return to 2019 levels until 2023.

The Luton-based airline plans to cut one-seventh of its planned fleet of Airbus jets, to 302 aircraft by the end of 2021.

But job cuts will be much deeper. In the next few days easyJet will begin consultations with unions on reducing staff numbers by up to 30 per cent, as well as improving productivity.

Johan Lundgren, chief executive of easyJet, said the airline would “optimise the network and our bases”.

He said: “We realise that these are very difficult times and we are having to consider very difficult decisions which will impact our people, but we want to protect as many jobs as we can for the long term.

“We remain focused on doing what is right for the company and its long-term health and success, following the swift action we have taken over the last three months to meet the challenges of the virus.”

While easyJet will resume flying on 15 June, on a small number of mainly domestic routes, the re-start is being hampered by government action – in particular the UK’s plan to quarantine all arriving passengers from 8 June, which has depleted demand for the summer.

However, the airline said: “Bookings for winter are well ahead of the equivalent point last year, which includes customers who are rebooking coronavirus-disrupted flights for later dates.”

Later this year easyJet was planning to celebrate its 25th year since Stelios Haji-Ioannou founded the carrier from a temporary building at Luton airport.

From a single route between Luton and Glasgow, easyJet grew to a pan-European giant carrying around 90 million passengers in 2019.

Its biggest hub is Gatwick. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have both said they may leave the Sussex airport.

The general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) has condemned the job cuts as “a real kick in the teeth”.

Brian Strutton said: “easyJet staff will be shocked at the scale of this announcement and only two days ago staff got a ‘good news’ message from their boss with no mention of job losses.”

“Those staff have taken pay cuts to keep the airline afloat and this is the treatment they get in return.”

“Given easyJet is a British company, the UK is its strongest market and it has had hundreds of millions in support from the UK taxpayer, I can safely say that we will need a lot of convincing that easyJet needs to make such dramatic cuts.

“Indeed, easyJet’s own projections, though on the pessimistic side, point to recovery by 2023, so this is a temporary problem that doesn’t need this ill-considered knee-jerk reaction.”

BA has already announced plans to cut 12,000 of its 42,000 staff, and to change the employment terms of remaining employees.

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Travel

How to avoid rental car pitfalls

Car rental is a ferociously competitive industry. I have just Googled “cheap car rental Palma airport” and have been offered a vehicle for just 27p per day through Do You Spain. Not bad for unlimited use of an asset that is worth £10,000 to explore the beautiful Island of Mallorca.

This deal is not quite as good as it seems. When I made a test booking for 1 August 2020, the price for 24 hours went up to £13. I must, though, pay €90 (£81) for a full tank of petrol, and even if the rental car staff are scrupulous about applying the right refund, it will be subject to a “Fuel Service Charge” of between €25 and €31 (£22-£28). So the cost has already roughly trebled. Oh, and there is an “excess” for any damage of up to €1,050 (£942) – while the car has insurance, I have to meet a huge potential bill.

Even if I am prepared to take this risk, I am warned: “You may need to purchase the supplier’s insurance on collection,” which will cost me €42 (£38). So the potential cost before I have driven an inch could be about six times the originally quoted sum, and around 300 times that fabled 27p.

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Cruises

Victory Cruise Lines Suspends Service Through 2020 Season

Victory Cruise Lines is canceling all voyages for the remainder of 2020 due to “prolonged governmental restrictions and uncertainties of future travel through Canadian waters” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said it will focus on the 2021 season, which includes the debut of the Ocean Victory in Alaska and new itineraries on the Great Lakes, Canadian Maritimes, New England and the Southeastern U.S.

“The decision to suspend service for 2020 was a difficult and disappointing choice but necessary in response to uncertainties of Canadian travel in the coming months,” said John Waggoner, founder and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company. “In anticipation of operating, we have taken this time to implement cutting-edge health and safety protocols. We will now focus on our exciting new itineraries planned for 2021, including the Ocean Victory in Alaska.”

In 2021, Victory will roll out new itineraries including the 12- and 13-day Alaska expedition cruises on the upcoming Ocean Victory between Vancouver, B.C., and Sitka, Alaska.

The Victory I and Victory II will also return with refreshed routes, including a 12-day Southeastern U.S. cruise that sails roundtrip to Amelia Island, Fla. (Fernandina Beach). Early booking discounts up to $1,400 per stateroom are now available for 2021 cruises.

In the coming weeks, Victory will announce plans for new winter itineraries for both the Victory I and Victory II, so guests with future cruise credits will have more choices.

For guests booked to sail on the Victory I or Victory II in 2020, no action is necessary at this time. The company’s customer service team will reach out directly to guests and travel agents to answer questions and advise on available options, which include the opportunity to rebook on a later date, a 125 percent cruise credit or a full refund.

The 125 percent cruise credit can be used toward any Victory itinerary, including the Alaska expedition cruises. All full refunds will be processed within 90 days.

For more details on Victory’s current policies, click here.

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Travel

Two friends tried 84 Airbnb 'Online Experiences' in ONE WEEK

Laughter yoga in Lisbon, bounce and twerk in New Orleans and coffee fortune telling in New York: Two friends tried 84 Airbnb ‘Online Experiences’ in ONE WEEK

  • James Ware and David Windsor went globetrotting using Airbnb experiences
  • They recorded the sessions for posterity – and the footage is incredible 
  • Bounce & Twerk with MoJoe from New Orleans ‘was gloriously uplifting’ 
  • ‘The funniest of all had to be Laughter Yoga with Thomas Cock,’ said James

Two globetrotting friends proved that lockdown needn’t be a barrier to travelling the world.

Self-confessed travel-junkies James Ware, 28, and David Windsor, 33, both from London, wanted to ‘go on an adventure and liven up lockdown life’ and found a brilliant quarantine loophole – doing lots of Zoom-hosted Airbnb Online Experiences.

The pair realised they could use these to get their globetrotting fix – and things ‘escalated rapidly’. They ended up doing 84 in one week earlier this month, from laughter yoga with a practitioner in Lisbon to a coffee fortune-telling experience with a reader in New York.

Self-confessed travel-junkies James Ware and David Windsor wanted to ‘go on an adventure and liven up lockdown life’ and found a brilliant quarantine loophole – doing lots of Zoom-hosted Airbnb Online Experiences

James and David recorded the sessions for posterity – and the footage is incredible. Hilarious and fascinating.

James, a producer, told MailOnline Travel: ’David and I are both travel junkies, but obviously it’s impossible to get our globetrotting fix with the current situation. Then we tried one of these online experiences and were surprised by how exciting and connecting it was even over Zoom and things escalated really rapidly from there.’

There were many highlights.

James said: ‘Having my fortune told through the coffee stains left in my mug by Uluc, a Turkish legend with a gigantic teddy bear in his New York apartment, was particularly unforgettable. Zumba with an Olympian in Hawaii left me feeling so high I’m surprised it’s not illegal in most countries.

‘Getting to talk one-on-one to an Olympic Gold medallist, Chinese sailor Xu Lijia, was a real privilege and genuinely moving, she was super inspirational.

‘And Bounce & Twerk with MoJoe from New Orleans should have been beyond embarrassing but somehow was gloriously uplifting because she made us feel so welcome despite our wonky waist wiggling replacing her normal superstar clientele.

‘Also a noteworthy moment was the ending of the project. It felt like it was sure to be an anticlimax, but then our very last experience was songwriting in Nashville with Anne Buckle, who’s related to Johnny Cash. She just busted out an incredible song on the spot all about what we’d done that week, which just blew our minds.’ 

James said: ‘I now make such a high quality tiramisu that I’m awaiting my Italian citizenship’

JAMES AND DAVID’S 84 AIRBNB ONLINE EXPERIENCES 

Monday

1) How To Write A Book – Australia

2) Flamenco Fiesta – Seville

3) Writing Masterclass- USA

4) Workout With Paralympic Medalist – Colorado

5) Disappearing Hill Tour – Seattle

6) Astrology & Natal Charts – Barcelona

7) Natural Beauty Workshop – Milan

8) Drums Drums Drums – Puerto Rico

9) Chocolate Meditation – Mexico

10) Zumba In Paradise With Olympian – Hawaii

Tuesday

11) Magic Castle Magic – Japan

12) Wine making – Bulgaria

13) Yoga & Slow Living – Florence

14) Storytelling – Catalonia

15) Chocolate Volcanoes – Rome

16) Get In Shape With A Belgian Olympian – Belgium

17) Cow Sanctuary – USA

18) Charity Pancake Flipping – San Francisco

19) Drink & Draw – Lisbon

20) Yoghurt Making – USA

21) How To Spot Fake News – USA

22) Learn To Tango – Argentina

23) Fado Concert – Portugal

Wednesday

24) Soundbath Meditation – Singapore

25) Meet A Shark Expert – South Africa

26) Manga Cartoon Drawing – Japan

27) Chinatown Tour – London

28) Flamenco Guitar – Madrid

29) Children’s Book Author – NYC

30) Drag Queen Singalong- UK

31) Mime Masterclass – Paris

32) Trigger Therapy With Olympian – Memphis

33) Introduction To Tango – Buenos Aires

34) Make Sangria – Portugal

35) Turkish Coffee Fortune Telling- NYC

36) Drag Queen Dance Show – Lisbon

37) Collage Art – Australia

Thursday

38) Meditative Forest Bathing – Portugal

39) Pasta With Grandma – Italy

40) Photography Class – Barcelona

41) Rescue Goats – USA    

 

42) Wine Guru – Porto 

43) Sheep At Sunrise – New Zealand

44) Bounce & Twerk With Mojoe – New Orleans

45) Introduction To Mexican Cuisine – Mexico

46) Ideas For Authors – USA 

Friday

47) K-Pop Dancing – Seoul

48) Olympian Flag Bearer – Mozambique

49) Japanese Food Art – Japan

50) Pasta & Opera – Rome

51) Laughter Yoga – Lisbon

52) Cape Malay Curry – South Africa

53) Olympic Gold Medallist – UK

54) Espadrille Shoe Making – Barcelona

55) Magic World Record- UK

56) Calligraphy Class- USA

57) Caravaggio Tour – Rome

58) Tango Posture – Barcelona

59) Healing And Happiness – USA

60) Street Art Tour – Buenos Aires

61) Irish Dancing – Galway  

Saturday

62) Tiramisu World Champion – Italy

63) One Love Meditation – Japan

64) Storyboarding Explained – Russia

65) Flamenco Class – Spain

66) Cello Meditation – Amsterdam

67) Vibe Ride – Detroit

68) Wine Tasting – Paris

69) French Crepes – Nice

70) Day Of The Dead – Mexico

71) Bookmaking – California  

Sunday

72) Judo With World Champions – UK

73) Penguin Pro – South Africa

74) Sake Tasting – Japan

75) Champagne Sabering – Reims

76) Origami Class – Japan

77) Extreme Magic – Ukraine

78) Western Architecture – France

79) Salsa & Passion – Puerto Rico

80) Cat Yoga – Brooklyn

81) Cigar Guru – Miami

82) Meet Vincent Van Gogh – NYC

83) Acoustic Concert- Iceland

84) Songwriting – Nashville 

The funniest session was, appropriately, laughter yoga.

James continued: ‘The funniest of all had to be Laughter Yoga with Thomas Cock, his actual name, in Lisbon. Using different exercises, you laugh for over an hour. It was amazing how quickly fake laughter turned into the real deal and it felt so cathartic and positive afterwards. 

‘He had repeat customers who were doing their seventh session it was so entertaining and beneficial.

‘I also had the first day I’ve ever cried with laughter twice in one day. We had a goat tour in rural New York which, thanks to the world’s worst wifi connection, became more of an immersive animal comedy. Then later, a Mexican cookery teacher flat out refused to let us leave to our next session, so we were held digital captives in an online kidnapping, which was weirdly hilarious.’ 

‘Having my fortune told through the coffee stains left in my mug by Uluc, a Turkish legend with a gigantic teddy bear in his New York apartment, was particularly unforgettable,’ said James

‘We were lucky to meet so many extraordinary people,’ said James

The bounce and twerk session, James said, ‘should have been beyond embarrassing but somehow was gloriously uplifting’

The sessions, James revealed, changed him as a person.

He said: ‘It really inspired me meeting so many incredible people who do things they’re so passionate about. It also really reminded me how connected we all are across cultures and borders no matter what’s happening.’

What’s more, he’s now an expert something new.

James said: ‘Having been entrusted with the secrets of tiramisu by Silvia in Italy, who genuinely attended the Tiramisu World Cup (an event now high up my bucket list), I now make such a high quality tiramisu that I’m awaiting my Italian citizenship.’

Airbnb launched the virtual experiences on April 9, with 50 available. There are now over 200

The sessions, said James, reminded him ‘how connected we all are across cultures and borders no matter what’s happening’. But he wasn’t always able to take the expert advice on board, as this image shows

While the video James and David made is a wrap – their journey isn’t over yet.

James added: ‘We’ve made friends for life and already have been offered apartments to stay in in New York, a free wine lesson in Portugal, a free penguin tour in South Africa and a coffee with an Olympic Gold Medallist. We were lucky to meet so many extraordinary people.’

Airbnb launched the virtual experiences on April 9, with 50 available. There are now over 200.

Visit airbnb.com/online-experiences for more information. If you are interested in hosting an experience visit airbnb.com/onlinehost.

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Transport

India domestic air travel to resume May 25 after virus shutdown

Domestic flights ferried 144 million passengers as well as cargo across the vast country last year

No indication was given when international travel would resume.

Domestic air travel will resume in India on May 25 after a two-month shutdown imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus, the aviation minister said Wednesday, in a further easing of national lockdown restrictions.

The government halted all domestic flights – which ferried 144 million passengers as well as cargo across the vast country last year – on March 25, days after suspending international flights.

“All airports and air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations from 25th May,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Twitter.

No indication was given when international travel would resume.

A limited number of interstate Indian trains – on a network which normally carries over 20 million passengers a day – resumed a week ago.

An additional 200 passenger services – 100 pairs of trains operating to and from major and some smaller cities – would resume from June 1, Indian Railways said late Wednesday, adding that online bookings would start from Thursday.

The announcement comes the same day as the country of 1.3 billion people reported its biggest daily jump in coronavirus infections, with 5,611 new cases recorded in 24 hours.

It took the total to 106,750, with financial capital Mumbai the worst-hit city, according to government figures.

More than 3,300 people have died – though unofficial estimates are higher – and Mumbai accounts for almost a quarter of fatalities.

Other major cities such as New Delhi and Ahmedabad are also badly affected.

Hospital bed shortages

Mumbai authorities are looking to requisition thousands of private hospital beds, with state-run care facilities overwhelmed in the city of 20 million people.

“A plan is under consideration to take over 80 percent of beds in private hospitals for non-COVID cases,” Mumbai city spokesperson Vijay Khabale-Patil told AFP.

With some virus patients reportedly sleeping on the streets outside hospitals waiting for beds to become free, authorities say they need to boost the 5,000 available for critically ill patients.

Mumbai has already had to build makeshift field hospitals and turned several landmarks into quarantine facilities, including a 19th-century horse-racing venue, a sports stadium that was used to host NBA games last year and a planetarium.

There are fears the start of the monsoon next month and the spread of diseases like dengue fever will add to the burden.

The capital New Delhi, also home to 20 million people, has likewise been badly hit.

It now has more than 10,000 cases and while authorities have confirmed only 160 coronavirus deaths, media reports – citing cemetery records – say there have been almost triple that number at least.

Gujarat state’s largest city, Ahmedabad, has meanwhile recorded 8,945 cases with nearly 600 deaths.

Experts predict the epidemic will worsen in the major cities over the next month and infections are only expected to peak in June or July.

Despite the crisis in cities, the Indian government has insisted it is keeping the spread under control in the world’s second-most populous nation.

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Destinations

Dubai tops post-Covid-19 wish list for Indian travellers

Survey from Booking.com shows Dubai is number one international destination Indian travellers want to visit

Indians have not lost their appetite for travel, particularly to cities like Dubai 

Indian travellers looking to celebrate the end of coronavirus with a trip away have listed Dubai as their number one international destination, according to the latest survey from Booking.com.

Despite the restrictions on movement imposed as a result of the deadly Covid-19 virus, and the economic nightmare which has accompanied it, Indians have not lost their appetite for travel.

According to the survey, Dubai tops the wish list of international destinations they want to visit post-coronavirus, ahead of Ubud (Bali), Bangkok (Thailand), Istanbul (Turkey) and London (UK).

A report from Colliers International last year revealed that the number of Indians visiting the UAE is set to rise to 5.29 million by 2024.

In terms of domestic destinations, Indian travellers are looking to visit Mumbai, followed by Goa, New Delhi, Lonavala and Bengaluru.

“It’s amazing to see the array of different travel experiences our customers have been busy dreaming about while they wait for the opportunity to travel again,” said Ritu Mehrotra, Booking.com country manager, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online

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Destinations

Hotel revenue in Oman dropped $122m in first two months of 2020

Occupancy levels fell by 7.8% compared to same period in 2019, according to National Centre for Statistics and Information

Europeans made up the maximum number of visitors to the Sultanate in 2019, reaching 127,331.

Total revenue of Omani hotels in the three-to-five-star category fell by 6.3 percent to RO43.9 million ($122m) for the first two months of the year compared to RO46.9m ($122m) for the same period of 2019.

According to the latest figures from the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), hotel occupancy rates in the Sultanate fell by 7.8 percent to reach 62.5 percent at the end of February 2020 against 67.8% for the corresponding period last year.

While the total number of guests in Omani hotels rose by 0.8 percent in the two-months at the start of 2020, reaching 311,219m from 308,880m guests for the same period in 2019.

Europeans made up the maximum number of visitors, reaching 127,331. This was followed by 84,379 Omani guests and 31,171 Asian tourists until the end of February 2020, the NCSI data revealed.

The number of American, Oceanian, and GCC guests increased by five percent, 10.2 percent, and 12 percent, respectively until the end of February 2020 compared to the first two months of 2019.

However, the number of European, African and other Arab guests dropped by seven percent, 0.4 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively.

Throughout 2019, Omani hotels received 1.77 million guests and generated total revenue of RO229.5m ($597m).

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Travel

When will international flights resume in Australia?

For Australians hoping to jet off abroad for a European summer or even a White Christmas, chances are you could be waiting a while yet.

But with a bit of luck, some countries closer to home may open for Aussie tourists by the end of the year, according to a Sydney tourism expert.

But don’t pack your bags just yet, because there is a big hurdle we need to clear first.

For Australians, predictions and time frames on when we will be able to travel overseas have been thrown around by industry leaders both here and around the world. But the bottom line is that international travel, and when it will resume remains in limbo and could be for some time.

Since the overseas travel ban came into place on March 25, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the government is not even considering holidays overseas while the virus continues to cause devastation around the world. It’s not even part of the three-stage COVID road map on the other side of the pandemic.

“After you take account of international tourists coming here, and Australians going overseas, that there is an import, net import factor, of just over $20 billion,” he said. “Now, that’s up for grabs for Australian domestic tourism operators.”

RELATED: When will overseas borders reopen?

Travel as we know it may never be the same again. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

HURDLE THAT WILL STOP OVERSEAS TRAVEL

Mr Morrison, along with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, have raised the idea of a trans-Tasman travel bubble between the two nations as the first overseas option for citizens and permanent residents in both countries.

But Dr David Beirman, a senior tourism lecturer from Sydney’s University of Technology, says the idea of travelling further than our own backyard relies on overcoming a hurdle that’s putting state premiers at odds.

“The closure of the borders in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania greatly restrict any meaningful recovery of tourism to those states,” Dr Beirman told news.com.au.

“Until the situation is resolved within Australia, real international travel will not be on the cards.”

Opening of the borders has been a contentious topic between state leaders, with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk standing her ground against the reopening of the ‘sunshine state’.

RELATED: NSW to allow regional holidays from June 1

Where the travel bubble might expand to for Australians includes Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa. Picture: AAP image, John Gass.Source:News Corp Australia

RELATED: Queensland slams NSW as ‘worst state’ amid plan to reopen borders

Last week, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian and Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced their states would be open for tourism from June 1. Tasmania’s premier Peter Gutwein, while keeping his borders firmly closed, has called for his counterparts to end their ‘one-upmanship’ around the issue of state border closures.

He revealed he had spoken to some state and territory leaders about borders but reiterated he would wait until at least July before making any decision on when and if Tasmania would reopen.

WHERE AUSTRALIANS WILL LIKELY TRAVEL TO FIRST

Despite domestic travel being included in the Morrison government’s three-stage road map to recovery, there was no information about when international travel will re-open.

But as part of our domestic tourism sector begins to reopen in the coming weeks, the return of local holidays raises hope that international jaunts won’t be much further behind

“Australia, New Zealand and most SW Pacific countries have (to date) been spared the worst of COVID-19,” Dr Beirman said.

“Quite frankly, until Australia sorts out its own unrestricted domestic tourism access this [travel bubble] won’t happen. I can certainly foresee that when travel does resume between

Australia and New Zealand (at the most optimistic towards the end of 2020) SW Pacific destinations including Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa could follow soon after.

“This would open up a range of SW pacific destinations dominated by the Australian & New Zealand market … Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands after that.”

Bad news for Aussies hoping to slip into Bali before the end of the year.Source:Supplied

FORGET YOUR BALI HOLIDAY OR A EUROPEAN SUMMER

But any hope of slipping into Bali before years end is looking unlikely, despite Indonesia pointing to October as a reopening date for foreign tourism.

“I think Australians wishing to travel to Bali, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia will be in for a longer wait,” Dr Beirman said.

“Singapore may be the first SE Asian destination to spread the welcome mat to Australians, but the Australian government may not necessarily make it easy for Aussies travelling there to return unless they agree to quarantine.

“Given the high rates of COVID-19 in the Americas and Europe, Australian tourism to these places is a long way off. How long will depend on whether a vaccine or a workable treatment for COVID-19 is found.

“The best case analysis for Australians would be limited international travel starting in late 2020 and gradually spreading during 2021. The worst case, is that we may well be grounded

for a year.”

Australia will need to sort their own border restrictions before allowing overseas travel.Source:Supplied

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL WILL NEVER LOOK THE SAME AGAIN

Previously, analysis from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says it will take years until long-haul travel recovered to levels seen before it was wiped out by the pandemic.

IATA CEO Alexandre de Junaic said it may take until 2023 for air travel to return to 2019 levels, however, he also said that by the end of 2020, the airline industry could be back to 50-55% capacity.

Dr Beirman says while the international time frame is still anyone’s guess, the world of travel as we know it will probably never look the same again.

“Cramming people like sardines in trains, boats, planes, hotels, events, tour groups, sporting events, shopping centres, attractions, casinos, clubs, conferences and conventions will be unacceptable for many people for some time to come,” he explained.

“It will be a challenge to convince business people that travel is the necessity it has traditionally been.

“International travel which was a luxury item up until the late 1960s may go back to that situation.

“It will be very difficult for travel and tourism to go back to the way things were before COVID-19.”

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Cruises

Nexion Unveils Tools to Help Agents Thrive Post COVID-19

Nexion Travel Group is fortifying its agent members with a portfolio of programs and tools designed help them thrive once coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us to a truly unprecedented time. Our members, like all travel advisors, are bravely navigating through these difficult waters,” said Nexion Travel Group President Jackie Friedman. “As their host agency, Nexion Travel Group has been working hard to creatively think of ways we can support them in developing their business, sharpening their skills and continuing to be a trusted travel advisor to their clients.”

For starters, Nexion is offering a Back to Basics webinar series, featuring subject matter experts to help agents tackle such subjects as marketing.

The host agency’s business development and education team created Chaos to Control, a virtual learning series designed to help advisors see their way through pandemic and subsequent recovery.

Nexion is also offering Chime-in Chat, biweekly Zoom meetings with the host agency’s top executives, enabling travel advisors to hear their candid thoughts on the current travel climate and to answers their questions and listen to their concerns.

As part of the former Travel Leaders Group, which has changed its name to Internova, Nexion has also offered its financial assistance webinars to members, featuring expert information on new legislation and programs like the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program, and much more.

“Until we can get back to travel, we are committed to helping our members use this time to their best advantage,” Friedman said. “It is not only our duty to do that, it is our privilege. As these travel advisors continue to work hard for their clients with cancellations and refunds for booked trips, we are standing beside them, ready to help support them and make sure that when this pandemic is over, their travel agencies are ready to thrive.”

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